Refresh Friday

God means to make you more like Christ with a gaze toward heaven, not focused on comfort and the things of this world. Puritan John Flavel has some thoughts on this; take the time to read slowly and reflectively.

“Is it indeed for the saints’ advantage, to be weaned from love of and delight in ensnaring earthly vanities; to be quickened and urged forward with more haste to heaven; to have clearer discoveries of their own hearts; to be taught to pray more fervently, frequently, spiritually; to look and long for the rest to come, more ardently?

If these be for their advantage, experience teaches us that no condition is ordinarily blessed with such fruits as these, like an afflicted condition.

Is it well then to repine and droop because your Father consults the advantage of your soul rather than the gratification of your humors? Because he will bring you to heaven by a nearer way than you are willing to go? Is this a due requital of his love, who is pleased so much to concern himself in your welfare? Who does more for you than he will do for thousands in the world upon whom he will not lay a rod or dispense an affliction to them for their good? (Hosea 4:17).

Photo credit: fotointeres.ru

Photo credit: fotointeres.ru

But alas! We judge by sense and reckon things good or evil according to our present taste. Take heed that you overlook not the many precious mercies which the people of God enjoy amidst all their trouble. It is a pity that our tears on account of our troubles, should so blind our eyes, that we should not see our mercies. I will not insist upon the mercy of having your life given you “for a prey,” (Jeremiah 39:18); nor upon the many outward comforts which you enjoy, even above what were enjoyed by Christ and his precious servants, of whom the world was not worthy.

But what say you to pardon of sin; interest in Christ; the covenant of promise; and an eternity of happiness in the presence of God, after a few days are over?”

— from Keeping the Heart; Or the Saint Indeed, John Flavel (1627-1691)

Life is fleeting and passes away quickly. I pray that if only for a few moments today, you can see the light of heaven even through your tears, pain, grief, distraction, busyness, or struggles.